The Cross House

Prepare to be…GOBSMACKED!

Almost two years ago I did a post about the west screen doors of the Cross House.


The west screen doors were extant in 1999 when Bob Rodak purchased the house. They were no longer in situ when I purchased the house in 2014.

What happened? Where had they gone?

Bob assured me that he had them. But repeated searches, and I mean repeated, did not reveal anything. Recently, Bob told me that he thought the doors were simply…gone.

This was horrible news. Horrible! I felt punched in the stomach, but had to resign myself to the idea that the west screen doors were, well, lost.


But…but…today I received a text message from Bob.

Bob is blue; I am yellow:


The “slum house” is one of Bob’s properties.


My heart jumped. Jumped! For, my first thought was: Bob found the west screen doors!!!!!!!!

I jumped into the car.

Bob found the west screen doors!!!!!!!!

But…but…there might be a thousand reasons why Bob would text: Is today your lucky day?

But, as I drove, I thought: No. Bob would only text as such if he had found the west screen doors.

Breathless with excitement, I pulled up in front of the so-called Slum House, where Bob has a lot of stuff stored.

And there was Bob, with a huge smile on his face.

“What?! What?” I almost yelled, my heart racing.

For, would today, after two years of searching and so many false starts, prove to be, indeed, my lucky day?

Bob smiled. And took me inside.



Scroll way down.




















Today, after a long absence, I am pleased to report that the errant west screen doors have returned to the Cross House. And that is Kenny, also gobsmacked at the astonishing news. He said: “I am SO glad that I was here for this amazing discovery!”


The incredible 1894 door pulls!!!!!!!!


The incredible Yale & Towne Austerlitz-pattern interior push plates!!!!!!!! Wow. I had no idea!




Under each screen is this reeded detail, which is also on all the first-floor doors.


Well. Well! WELL!!!!!!!!

A lucky day, indeed.

How amazing, too, that Bod was so incredibly gracious about returning the doors to the Cross House.

I gave him a huge hug. And almost kissed him!


So, the errant west screen doors are back. They are back! Friggin’ back!

But, what do I do with them?

If I restore and reinstall them, they will obscure the beautiful outer oak doors, and the particularly beautiful inner beveled oak doors.

My thought, thus, is to restore the doors, but only install them during the lovely spring weather and later fall weather.

In any event, having them back feels wondrous. Amazing! A miracle!


BIG hug to Bob!!!!!!!!!



17 Responses to Prepare to be…GOBSMACKED!

  1. Hurray! Huzzah! And yippee! So happy Bob found the doors, and that Kenny was on hand to celebrate with you. It’s so much fun to see all the bits come back to the house where they belong. You must be over the moon with joy.

  2. What a great weekend you’ve had! And great that you will have the original screen doors back where they belong. Taking down screen doors and windows was actually a common practice in the old days, I remember helping my grandpa do it for my great-grandmother.

  3. Ross, just getting the doors would be miracle enough – but the details and hardware exceed all expectations. Simply exceptional.

    Pics of the hinges? Are they of a lift-off or loose-pin type, or would they have to be repeatedly screwed and unscrewed for removal, etc.? Was there any sort of self-closing spring on the hinges, etc. or other way the doors were held closed? How about a latch?

    Bronze screen mesh might make a nice replacement, if replacement is deemed appropriate.

  4. Push plates!!! My heart sings for push plates. So many doors in the world with pulls on both sides and an ugly sign saying “push” which of course we only see once we have pulled. Pulls are for pulling! Vote for me and I’ll put a push plate on every door.

  5. You should put them on so we can see how they look. That is exciting. Do they need a lot of work or is it more cosmetic?

    • Pt. 2 (Oops!) I currently don’t have a computer to search for any posts about it but did you ever find out where the pull in the old post went to?

  6. I don’t suppose you know yet the species of wood that they are made of. They could be the same oak as the front door and look as good.

  7. Yay! So happy for you! Between this and the great job Kenny did restoring the mantle, I think it’s safe to say you had a really great day!

  8. Woo Hoo! So happy that Bob found the doors! Those push plates are simply beyond amazing. I think seasonal use of the doors makes perfect sense – and you’ll enjoy the change they’ll provide. Maybe you could convince Kenny to return and and refinish the doors?

  9. Serendipity, thy name is Ross! The hinges appear to be hefty enough to be spring hinges, and, coupled with the absence of latches, T-astragal strip and the presence of bilateral pulls and push plates, I presume that both are “active” self-closing doors. Unless there were interior head-and-toe door bolts, these could not be locked when the main doors were open to admit the prairie breezes. A more innocent day.

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